Now that the new 2017 flagship smartphones from both Google and Apple are available and in the hands of consumers, we thought we’d compare Apple’s iPhone X with the Google Pixel 2 XL to see how these two devices measure up.
Back in September, Apple showed off the formidable iPhone X, a futuristic-looking smartphone launched in celebration of the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary. With a fancy new design, class-leading hardware, and a hi-tech screen, the iPhone X is guaranteed to be one of this year’s most coveted gadgets.
Then in October, rival tech giant Google debuted the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. These handsets are the flagship carriers for Android 8.0 Oreo, and will certainly be hugely popular amongst fans of Google’s mobile operating system.
As nearly every other phone maker on the planet has already moved on from LCD. But with the iPhone X, Apple is finally catching up with the competition and upgrading the screen.
The Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X use very different OLED displays from different manufacturers. Apple’s iPhone X carries the Samsung AMOLED display, and the Google Pixel 2 XL’s carries LG’s POLED technology. So who have better display?
In order to find out, Tom’s Guide compared the iPhone X with two of the other most popular OLED-equipped flagships of 2017: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and Google’s Pixel 2 XL. The results might surprise you (but probably won’t).
First, the publication tested the brightness of the three phones. Measuring with a light meter, the Pixel 2 XL was able to reach 438 nits while the Galaxy Note 8 only managed 408 nits. The iPhone X, on the other hand, recorded 574 nits, blowing away the competition.
As Tom’s Guide explains, brightness is “especially important on OLED panels, which are typically much dimmer than their LCD counterparts due to the lack of a backlight.”
In terms of color accuracy and saturation, the strengths of weaknesses of the three phones were more nuanced, but once again, Tom’s Guide preferred the image on the iPhone X, which they say “struck a balance” between the other two phones. The Note 8 was oversatured and unrealistic while the Pixel 2 XL tried too hard for realism.
In fact, the iPhone X won out in virtually every category, including white balance and viewing angles. Although the iPhone X is subject to the same blue tint that affects all OLED displays when viewed at an angle, it’s less noticeable than on other phones.
So which of these devices Display is better? Pixel 2 XL or iPhone X?
OK, so color reproduction to the naked eye is definitely not the same for the two phones. Usually, the Pixel 2 XL shows less color saturation than the iPhone X — though the X doesn’t pull out all of the saturation stops like Samsung’s phones. I say “usually” because in some cases the Pixel 2 XL colors do pop more than the X. But it’s not an over-saturated pop, it’s a case of seeing deeper hues.
What about color accuracy? I would say reality usually falls somewhere between the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X. That said, you will see the blue bias (hue) in the Pixel 2 XL, which is probably the most consistent, stark difference between the two phones.
Apple touts a “wide color display”, aka the industry-benchmark P3 color gamut, and reports show a brightness of around 625 nits. Google also boasts “100% of DCI-P3 coverage” but reports point to lower brightness in terms of nits for the Pixel. I don’t really see a difference in day to day use but that lower nit number could influence color reproduction to the naked eye.
What makes the iPhone X the Best Smartphone Display is the impressive Precision Display Calibration Apple developed, which transforms the OLED hardware into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display, with close to Text Book Perfect Calibration and Performance!!
Raymond Soneira, president DisplayMate Technologies, iPhone X OLED Display Technology Shoot-Out
It took Apple an awfully long time to jump on the OLED bandwagon, but as usual, the company knocked it out of the park when it finally made the move. Google probably went too far in pursuit of the most realistic color reproduction. Another way to say it is: the sRGB color default profile is too muted (in addition to the blue bias showing up in every image). But is it better than the Pixel 2 XL? The answer to that question will depend on what you like to see.
If it’s realism you want, the iPhone X’s supremely bright screen and exquisite white balance provide a sense of color accuracy you simply don’t get from other handsets.
Weeks back, Google Pixel 2 XL phones suffered the ‘burn-in’ issue – where traces of previous images are retained on the screen by the phone. Google in its latest November security patch, has fixed the issue by introducing a saturated colour mode for both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
“Since all OLED displays experience some degree of decay over time, we’ll continue to make enhancements which maximise the life of your Pixel screen,” wrote a Google executive.
The issue typically occurs only after the handset has been in operation for some time. Some early plasma television screens were known for their screen burn-ins.
Apple acknowledged the problem on its iPhone X’s display as well.
“The Super Retina display overcomes challenges with traditional OLED displays with its high brightness, wide colour support, and has the best colour accuracy in the industry,” according to Apple.
Ironically, in the very next line they add: “With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes. This is also expected behavior and can include “image persistence” or “burn-in,” where the display shows a faint remnant of an image even after a new image appears on the screen.”